Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 26, 2016

Coconino National Forest Fall Color 9/26/16

 Coconino National Forest  reports

Flagstaff Ranger Distict Fall Color Update: September 26, 2016

The fall color season for the Flagstaff is just beginning in the higher elevations around Mt. Elden and the San Francisco Peaks. There are just a few spots of strong color in Lockett Meadow, Inner Basin, and around the north side of the Peaks in the area of Bear Jaw, Reese, and Abineau canyons. There is nearly no color around Hart Prairie, Snowbowl, and the western slopes of the Peaks.

Monday morning observations of Mount Elden show that color at the top is beginning to fade as color moves downslope. Great views along Elden Lookout Road and the slopes below the lookout tower. The eastern ridgeline is colorful along Sunset Trail, as is the northwestern slopes visible from Elden Lookout Road. Color progress is approximately a week earlier than last year. Recommended trails for viewing fall color on Mount Elden:

Lockett Meadow, the Inner Basin and the north side of the San Francisco Peaks are also turning. Some trees are approaching peak color (especially in the Inner Basin near the pumphouse) while others are still green. Recommended trails, routes, and areas for viewing fall color on the San Francisco Peaks:

  • Inner Basin Trail moderately strenuous hike into the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks. High clearance vehicle is recommended on Lockett Meadow Road. Some patches are at peak color with others still turning gold.
  • Lockett Meadow campground and day use area in a meadow in the interior of the San Francisco Peaks with access to Inner Basin Trail. High clearance vehicle is recommended on Lockett Meadow Road. Color is just getting started. Traffic controls will be in place the first two weekends of October going up to Lockett Meadow.
  • Abineau-Bear Jaw Trails Loop strenuous hike on the north side of the San Francisco Peaks. A lot of patches of peak color along Waterline, with colors nearing peak at upper elevations of Bear Jaw Canyon and along the Waterline. Lower elevations of the loop are mostly green with patches of color.
  • Around the Peaks Loop scenic driving loop around the north side of the San Franciso Peaks. High clearance vehicle required to complete the loop due to the rough and rocky nature of the road. Good fall color viewing can be found on the smoother parts of the route accessible to low clearance vehicles at the eastern and western ends of FR 418.

 

The higher elevations of the San Francisco Peaks trails will be much chillier than Flagstaff. Be prepared for temperatures 10°F to 20°F cooler than Flagstaff. Dress in layers and carry at least two quarts of water for a half day hike. Watch the National Weather Service forecast closely. The weather forecast may change unexpectedly:

Mogollon Rim Ranger District Fall Color Update: September 22, 2016

The Mogollon Rim reports maples are turning in the Dick Hart Ridge and Dane Ridge area within a few miles of the Rim Road (FR 300). This should be a beautiful weekend to go out to explore the area, as many of the trees will be approaching their peak. The maples can be spotted in the draws from the ridge roads (FR 139 and FR 321), and hikes into the draws at the southern ends of the Cabin Loop trails should be rewarding.

 

Watch the National Weather Service forecast closely. The weather forecast may change unexpectedly:

 

Keep an eye on this page and @CoconinoNF on Twitter for updates through the fall season.

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: